Pastor’s Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The life and spirit of the Parkway family have always been characterized by our joy in spending time with one another. Obviously, that level of connection has been absent for the past six months and I’m sure all of us have missed it greatly. Although your attendance...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (09.04.20)

It’s not important that you know any of the big words I learned in seminary, but the principles behind some of them are critical for your understanding of Christian faith, especially if you see the Bible as your rule for faith and practice and consider its proper...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (08.28.20)

Because the level of restrictions, fear of the unknown, and uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic were in the forefront of our thoughts and our conversations back in March and April, most of us probably didn’t give much consideration to what has become for...

read more

From the Pastor….

Because the words “global” and “pandemic” are now inextricably linked, as Christians we must be concerned about and pray for all the people of the world as they face this challenge. However, the place where we are most personally affected and where we can make the...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (08.21.20)

Each morning during my devotional time I read a meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation, usually by its founder, Father Richard Rohr. Last week, this week, and next he is leading his readers to consider the natural process that leads to spiritual...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (08.14.20)

Since Adam and Eve ate that fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, no one has invented a new way to disobey God. The details may change, but it always comes down to failing to adhere to the clear boundaries of life set forth by a...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (08.07.20)

In last week’s column I cited my “favorite” Scripture passage (Proverbs 3:5-6), while acknowledging the folly of limiting oneself to a single text. I also wrote that it might be more interesting to answer this question: “If you were limited to ten paragraphs from the...

read more

From the Pastor….

We’re going to be returning to in-person worship in our sanctuary. Okay, none of us knows at this point precisely when that will happen, but we will be returning. For a while the worship services will not look the same, but we will be together. And your staff and lay...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.31.20)

A few years ago a reporter for the local newspaper put together an article listing the favorite Scripture verses of the community pastors. Asking someone for their “favorite” Scripture verse is like asking a parent to name their favorite child. It really can’t be...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.24.20)

If you’re not feeling at least a little bit overwhelmed right now, you probably aren’t paying attention: *A health care crisis that shows no sign of lessening (at least in the reality-challenged State of Georgia) *Political leaders willing to risk the health of...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.17.20)

In the email I sent with the worship material last Friday, I included these two sentences: “As you participate in worship, let me encourage you to utilize the entire service. Every element has its own value, and together they make a greater impression on us than any...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.10.20)

This past week a noted Baptist ethicist wrote an opinion piece for Baptist News Global, offering five reasons why it is time to think about reopening churches. Whether or not he regrets writing the article, I’m fairly certain he regrets the level of backlash he got,...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.03.20)

Last week in this space I suggested that we would all benefit from reading more, but I also said we should be careful about our sources, read some things with which we might disagree, and read deep and difficult writings to be better informed on issues. I assume it...

read more

From the Pastor….

Many of you probably never drive on State Bridge Road past the church building unless you are actually coming to church. If that is true for you, I want to prepare you for what you are going to see within the next few weeks. You should be aware that a couple of weeks...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.26.20)

When the staff writes our blogs for the monthly newsletter, you will see on the front page just a few lines (I assume to pique your interest) and a link you can click on to “read more.” What I hadn’t noticed until a friend on the other side of the country pointed it...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.19.20)

Back in the old days, like four months ago, when we used to stay in hotels, you might come into your room at night to find that there was a blinking light on the telephone. It was an alert telling you that you had a message. In pastoral care class they taught us that...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (06.12.20)

In response to the death of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed, the ministers of our community felt the need to respond in some way. There was considerable dialogue about what the best response would be, but we were united in feeling that some statement...

read more

From the Pastor….

Apparently there has been a misunderstanding about the Church during the past ten weeks. This misunderstanding, that has reached as far as the highest office in the land, is that the churches of the United States have been closed since the appearance of the novel...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.29.20)

When we began worship in our homes rather than in the church building, I greatly missed the connection with the small group of people who had been gathering faithfully each Sunday morning at 9 a.m. for The Beginning. However, I have also found that the material I am...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.22.20)

Americans tend to consume indiscriminately. We’re not all that particular about what we eat, but just as critically, we don’t pay much attention to what we consume with our minds either. We leave the television on for background noise, even when we aren’t interested...

read more

Pastor’ Friday Comments (05.15.20)

  In 1610 Galileo Galilei published a book, Siderius Nuncius (Starry Messenger), in which he reported his scientific discoveries through his observation of the universe. In addition to his many groundbreaking conclusions, he affirmed the belief that Nicolaus...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.08.20)

I’m reading a great deal these days about what the Church will be like once we are allowed to gather again. It’s all speculative. No one really knows how things will have to change or what the “new normal” will look like. Will masks and social distancing be temporary...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.01.20)

These thoughts will include no words that begin with the third letter of the alphabet; there will be no mention of the numeral that precedes the number 20. The loving members of our family of faith are staying in touch with one another, still showing sincere interest,...

read more

From the Pastor (05.01.20)

As so many of you have had to do, the Parkway staff has had to find creative ways to continue their ministries during this time when we are restricted from face-to-face meetings. I’m grateful that we are facing this current global crisis in an age when we have so many...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.24.20)

As a Christian I am pro-life. Some people immediately think that means I am for the protection of unborn children, which is true, but I am just as pro-life about every other person too. Right now I want to be supportive of the lives of several particular groups of...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.17.20)

Something I could not have predicted has occurred for Parkway during this time apart. Our connections with each other have gotten more numerous, albeit perhaps not as strong as they would have been were we able to be physically present with each other. Wednesday night...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.10.20)

Today is Good Friday, the day on which we commemorate the death of our Lord. Christ’s willingness to go to the cross eloquently showed God’s love for all humanity and made possible the demonstration of God’s power over death that we will celebrate on Easter Sunday....

read more

From the Pastor…

You don’t need another column on how to deal with the impact of Coronavirus on your life. From pundits to politicians, pastors to physicians, psychologists to prognosticators, you have gotten every conceivable bit of advice about what to do to maintain your sanity,...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.27.20)

There are plenty of things all of us are tired of right now, but one of the things that has me worn out is hearing the word “virtual.” In the past, like a couple of weeks ago, virtual meant something like “almost as good as.” As in, “that car is virtually new”; or,...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comment (03.20.20)

To state the obvious, all of our lives are being turned upside down by our required responses to the novel Coronavirus. I don’t need to recount all the things we do differently now from the way we did them just a week or so ago. But for those of us at Parkway who...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.13.20)

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.06.20)

The only subject people seem to be talking about more than the presidential election these days is the potential for a deadly virus to impact the financial markets, our congregating, our daily routines, and our health. Underlying these discussions is a level of...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.28.20)

On Sunday, February 23, I preached a sermon in the series on the Sermon on the Mount entitled “Radical Religion”, based on Matthew 5:38-48. Given Jesus’ admonition to “turn the other cheek,” in our current cultural environment it was almost unavoidable to draw...

read more

From the Pastor….(March Newsletter Article)

“From dust you have come and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the Gospel.” With those words ashes were imposed on the foreheads of all who attended Ash Wednesday services, either at Parkway or in some other Christian gathering. It was the solemn ceremony...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.21.20)

If you have ever stood in the Parkway pulpit to lead in worship, you probably noticed that there is a 3”x5” index card in front of the microphone with just two words: “SLOW DOWN!” That admonition is there as a simple reminder that I tend to talk faster than some...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.14.20)

I am greatly helped in my daily devotional time by an email I receive from Father Richard Rohr, the director of the Center for Action and Contemplation. His exploration of the writings of early Church leaders, ancient and contemporary mystics, and contemplatives,...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (02.07.20)

A few of you have already reported in on my challenge to read the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5, 6, and 7. (The majority of you have not. Remember that by the end of this month, if you haven’t told me you have read the assignment, I’ll be asking you directly.) As...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.31.20)

Anyone who knows anything about the American religious landscape knows that we live in a “post-denominational age”. Few people are loyal enough to a particular denominational “brand” that, if they leave one congregation, because of moving or any other reason,...

read more

From the Pastor (02.01.20)

Almost four years ago our congregation was approached with an opportunity to sell part of our unused land for a commercial project. For some very good reasons, that proposal did not work out, but it prompted our leaders to recognize that we were in possession of an...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.24.20)

As you probably know, our men’s group is reading a powerful and persuasive book by Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners, entitled Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. I commend this book to you enthusiastically, though some of you may not like his...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.17.20)

Linda and I have been doing a little death-cleaning. Don’t be alarmed. Nothing imminent (we hope). It’s just the idea that, as much as possible, you should get rid of stuff you no longer need now, rather than making someone else do it after you’re gone. Recycle, give...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.10.20)

A few years ago I was browsing through a discount bookstore when I found a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. That’s the version that we read in worship and that is in the study Bible that I use, so I already had several copies, but it was a very...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (01.03.20)

Well done, good and faithful servants! This year during the Advent Season we collected our annual Global Missions Offering. The Missions Committee set the very challenging goal of raising $20,000 for three mission causes: Global Missions of the Cooperative Baptist...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (12.27.19)

‘Tis the season for making resolutions. As I’ve noted before, commitments are more appropriate for Christians since resolutions imply actions we take upon ourselves, whereas commitments reflect our willingness to give our whole lives over to God and let God do the...

read more

From the Pastor….

In this edition of the Parkway newsletter you may notice that mine is the only column by a staff member. I gave the others this edition off and they have earned it. Jane Redman, Carey Huddlestun, and Hannah Rule have been going the extra mile(s) to ensure that all of...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (12.06.19)

  ‘Tis the Season for going to the mailbox to find, among the Christmas cards (a pleasure to receive), the bills (a necessary part of life), and the occasional letter (a cherished rarity), a daily stack of catalogs, full of suggestions for gifts, both practical...

read more

From the Pastor….

One of the challenges that pastors who try to follow the calendar for the Christian year have is getting congregants to recognize that Advent is all about contemplation and preparation for the coming of Christ into our lives and remembering that, one day, there will...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (11.29.19)

For the past week Kristy Engel has been hosting two charming young ladies from Brisbane, Australia, Aleisha Paten and Meg White. The three of them are about to embark on a tour that will take them from Atlanta to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, and...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (11.22.19)

In a recent op-ed column originally published in The New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof takes note of a dangerous killer among us. It’s called loneliness. He cites research from Brigham Young University that concludes that “social isolation is more lethal than...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (11/15/19)

We are currently collecting our Global Missions Offering. The goal is $20,000 and the money will be divided among Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions (60%), Kristy Engel, our member and International Ministries global missionary (30%), and our Bolivia...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (11.08.19)

                            William Riley, a recent graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University and now the pastor of a Baptist church in Kentucky, realized he had a rare opportunity - as a minister - to visit a large number of churches of many...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (11.01.19)

Something that many of us have suspected has now been documented. Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) have left organized religion, especially Christianity, and they’re not coming back. Religious leaders had hoped that, once they started families they would...

read more

From the Pastor….

I’m guessing that you waste at least half an hour every day. To put it another way, I imagine that you could find half an hour each day that you could spend more productively than you do now. I want to suggest a way for you to spend that 30 minutes for the next 30...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (10.25.19)

For a pastor, one of the great features about living in the Atlanta area is our proximity to great centers of theological teaching. As a Baptist, I’m particularly proud of and beholden to the McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University. But Atlanta is also home to...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (10.18.19)

For a few days at the beginning of this week, I did very little besides read and meditate on specific passages of Scripture. The purpose was to devise a sermon plan for the 2019-20 Christian year, but the far more important result was the privilege of having these...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (10.11.19)

Next Wednesday, October 16, during our Bible study and prayer time, we will be writing brief letters to our elected national representatives, urging Congress to accelerate progress on global nutrition, to address the root causes of migration, or to reform the criminal...

read more

Pastor’s Friday Comments (10.04.19)

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” is the way those of us who were brought up on the King James Version of the Bible learned the first verse of the twenty-fourth Psalm. It might not have been as familiar to us as...

read more

From the Pastor….

Each week in the meditative service that we call “The Beginning” I present a brief meditation based on one of the lectionary texts for that Sunday. Last week, in preparation for that, I was reading a commentary on 1 Timothy 6:6-19. The writer, either Paul or one of...

read more